Trade Show TalesBlog

Archive for the ‘LED Lightboxes’ Category

What to Expect from Classic Exhibits at EXHIBITORLIVE

February 2nd, 2019 COMMENTS

[Video Text/Transcript] Hi everyone. This is Mel at Classic Exhibits. I hope you are doing well. It’s February, and we’re three or four weeks away from EXHIBITORLIVE. And for those who just went through the brutal Polar Vortex, I’m sure four days in sunny Las Vegas can’t come soon enough.

We will be there, of course. I believe it’s our 25th year. No misses. This year, Classic will be in 20×30 double-deck. Booth #1623.

As you know, we participate in EXHIBITOR primarily to meet with our Distributor Partners. In other words — YOU. And while end-users visit us as well and we pass those leads along after the show, we are committed to spending as much time as possible with our distributors. Mostly, we want to hear from you. What are you seeing in trends? Suggestions on how Classic can assist you with design, exhibit builds, and marketing. Is there anything missing from our assortment?

This year our booth theme is “Knot Your Typical Exhibit Builder.” That’s “K.N.O.T.” You’ll see the theme, including “knot” puns throughout the space. We will even have a magician in the booth performing knot tricks. RJ, the magician, is knot your typical magic act. Yes, the puns will probably get painful at some point.

So what can you expect from Classic? More of the same, meaning lots of product innovations. For instance, this past year we launched the Gravitee One-Step Lightbox and the Mobile Meeting Pods. You’ll see examples of both in the booth. Our InCharg Charging solutions will now include wireless options, in addition to USB ports.

For us, Custom builds have expanded well beyond trade shows into retail, corporate environments, and even museum work. Our rental sales continue to soar, which shouldn’t be a surprise. Even the Sacagawea Portable line got a refresh with the addition of charging ports and a hostess shelf, features not found on any other portable hybrid.

Other trends? LED Lightboxes in every shape imaginable. Expect a significant change to our LB assembly this spring, which will make SuperNova both the strongest and easiest LB to setup in the industry. Then there’s the allure of video walls. Expect more affordable and accessible video solutions in 2019

If you would like to schedule an appointment, please let us know as soon as possible. In addition, we encourage you to visit us during the Strategic Partner hours on Tuesday and Wednesday. Those hours are always less hectic.

OK, so it’s still winter and maybe you can’t lose your winter coat just yet… but Las Vegas is just around the corner. We look forward to visiting with you. And remember, To Be or Knot to Be, That is the Question for EXHIBITORLIVE. Cheers!

For a free EXHIBITORLIVE Exhibit Hall Pass, Click on the Registration Link and enter #4044. Compliments of your friends at Classic Exhibits.

Photos of Recent LED Fabric Lightboxes

October 10th, 2018 COMMENTS

Recent Trade Show Lightbox Trends

We sometimes forget (or simply don’t recognize) how quickly trends change on the trade show floor. LED Fabric Lightboxes have been around for 5-6 years. Crude versions with muddy low-resolution graphics and hinky lights a little longer.

2018 has become “The Unofficial Year of Lightboxes.” Probably 65% of the exhibits we ship have LED lights — in a tower, backwall, counter, accent, or stem light. It’s at the point where it’s almost jarring not to see a lightbox or LED lights on an exhibit. Not all all lightboxes are equal, but I’ll save that debate for another blog post. What is true is that the fabric, the printing, and the LED lights have gotten better, depending the source/supplier, BUT it pays to do your homework.

  • How new are the dye-sublimation printers? The technology is changing rapidly
  • Does the supplier actually dye-sublimate the image or do they print directly to the fabric (cheaper, more fragile, and wrinkles)?
  • Are the lights and transformers UL approved? 
  • What is the quality of the fabric? Think H & M vs. J. Jill as an clothing example. 

Below are some examples of recent SuperNova LED lightboxes, both purchase and rental. Sadly, LED lightboxes don’t photograph well with smartphones or point and shoot cameras. You see “hotspots,” and the colors are never as vibrant as with the naked eye. However, that won’t stop us from sharing. 🙂

-Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite

**********************************************

Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, and custom exhibit solutions, including SuperNova LED Lightboxes. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or www.classicexhibits.com.

The World of SEG (As I See It)

September 11th, 2018 2 COMMENTS

Guest Post by Dave Brown, Optima Graphics

When Neanderthals Walked the Earth

My first exposure to Silicone Edge Graphics (SEG) was in 2002. At the time, we (Optima) were using a foam/rubber gasket to finish fabric graphics. The gasket (similar to screen door material) was an aesthetic step forward from Velcro since it helped to remove ripples and waves in a fabric graphic, but it was not a viable long-term solution. In early 2003, Optima was approached by AIT. They were promoting an improved graphic attachment using a stretchy silicone material that could be tucked into a channel or systems groove on an engineered aluminum frame, like Octanorm or MODUL. I vaguely recall that they were selling frames as well, but don’t quote me on that.

During that same time frame, several truss suppliers were offering a “truss clip” option where an 18” section of aluminum channel would snap onto the individual truss rails. A magnet was sewn to the graphic, so it could be secured within the truss clip. There was nothing special about the magnet other than its dimensions were perfect for sewing it to the fabric and then tucking it into the truss clip. Functionally a shim. However, the magnet was impractical for shipping purposes.

With the ever-present desire to cut exhibit program costs, many “early adopter” exhibitors and exhibit houses were looking to fabric graphics as an option. Fabric or dye-sublimated textile graphics had two immediate advantages:  they reduced the overall weight of an exhibit and they could be folded for compact shipping. But the Velcro and truss clip option each had aesthetic and practical flaws.

The Rise of SEG

Entering 2005, Silicone Edge Graphics were moving more mainstream, and our very own Mary Mueller coined the term SEG. Heck, we even tried to trademark it, but the US Patent Office claimed it was too generic (but “three peat” could be trademarked. Hmmmm?). By mainstream, I mean that SEG was being incorporated into display hardware, wall-mounted frame solutions, and custom exhibits.

As time progressed, SEG became a true building material, and fabric now clads the exterior of exhibits in the same way Canyon Blue Formica or Tempo loop did in the early 90’s. Customers want their visual message and presence maximized in their exhibits, and as dye-sublimation has progressed so has the boundaries of SEG. It is not uncommon to see a single 10’ x 20’ SEG fabric graphic whether backlit or non-backlit that’s as stunning and real as a Lambda print. A handful of companies have incorporated machinery that will produce a single graphic that’s 15 ft. in width, and the industry has been the beneficiary of R&D from many different perspectives. For example:

  • Backlighting. At Optima, we have launched three different backlit materials in the last 11 months, and our suppliers keep sending us a steady stream of potential new materials to test.
  • Opacity. Fabric may have been great for packing and hanging, but prior to 2013, there were functionally no opaque options. The blocker game is over because numerous opaque options exist and are ideal for trade show graphics. Eliminating blockers reduces installation time and cost. We can all cheer for that!
  • Stretch / Pliability. Installing SEG is, good bad or indifferent, a bit of an art form. A material that stretches east – west vs. east-west and north-south is a big deal because the added pliability reduces the artistic install talent needed by the end client or hired labor. “I have done this a million times” does not perfectly translate to “You are really good at it.”
  • Wrinkles. Let’s not mince words, Wrinkles suck! I get it. Paying as much as $250 an hour for Sunday OT steaming is unappetizing to any exhibitor.Here’s a snippet from an actual conversation I had this spring, “Sorry I am late. My shirt was a mess from packing, so I had to touch it up with the iron.” Fast forward to, “We arrived at the booth and one of the graphics was all wrinkled, so we had to steam it. Why do we need to do that? We should not have to do this” Logically, you know that a shirt (piece of fabric) needs to be ironed to eliminate wrinkles, but a fabric graphic should be impervious to similar wear and tear. Trust me, the holy grail of dye-sub fabric graphics is a 100% wrinkle-free material. This is and has been a R&D priority for years.
  • Flame Retardant (FR). Optima and many other high-quality providers will not sell an SEG dye-sub fabric graphic that is not FR. However, the FR treatment can increase the wrinkle factor or wrinkle-ability. Selling a NON-FR fabric is just plain stupid. Can you imagine ALL the instances where exhibitors are informed that all their fabric graphics need to be removed because they are unable to supply a FR certificate, and/or the material fails an onsite test? That is the stuff of lawsuits. It’s not worth it. Yet, there are instances where low-cost providers take that risk without informing the customer.

The Future of SEG

If the key ingredient in SEG is simply the attachment element (various rubbery / reasonably stretchy / reasonably firm 2.3mm x 7mm x 1mm-ish strips), then the sky is the limit. We have already progressed through print clarity (print resolution, density, color gamut via equipment and print technology), textile opacity, textile transmissiveness (backlighting), and ideal size of material.

A Prediction:   LED incorporation into the textiles will progress from experimental to routine and full digital textile is only a few years away. Envision a wall frame with an SEG monitor installed at any size you want. A 10 x 20 inline that conveys your client’s dynamic message, creates and morphs from one environmental engagement to the next, and during breaks on the show floor – you can watch your favorite Family Guy, episode. AND the whole thing fits in a single airline shippable case.

It’s coming sooner than we all think.

Dave Brown
dsbrown@optimagfx.com

Dave Brown is the VP of Sales at Optima Graphics. We all know and love Dave, so a long, detailed bio isn’t really necessary. And, yes, we all have a memorable Dave Brown story.

The NEW Gravitee One-Step LED Lightbox | Video with Kevin Carty

August 12th, 2018 COMMENTS

We rarely URGE you to VIEW a blog post. We invite and entice. But this time, we’re URGING.

After considerable time, effort, and imagination, we developed a lightbox. But not just any lightbox, one two inches deep with all the wonderful features of the Gravitee One Step System. No Tools. No Loose Parts. See for yourself in this video that introduces the Gravitee Modular Lightbox. 

Expect to see Gravitee LB designs throughout Q3 and Q4 via Design Monday, both as a purchase and rental. Pricing will be available later this month. For those who have seen and/or ordered the Gravitee System, you already know its benefits compared to other modular wall systems. 

–Kevin
http://twitter.com/kevin_carty
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kevin-carty/3/800/32a